The similarities between Norwegian and Japanese literature are not always so easy to identify, but perhaps they are clearest in the treatment of relationships and social situations. We are two nations where personal boundaries, behaviour and social assent are recurring themes within our fiction, and few writers in Norway handle these subjects with the sensitivity of Rune Christiansen – and it is no secret that he is influenced by Japanese literature. In the same way, Hiromi Kawakami uses her characters to highlight interpersonal challenges, and with the same sensitivity she is able to delve into a universe where the small details become tolerable, and the everyday becomes absolute. Ellen Sofie Lauritzen chats with the two of them about closeness and the path to achieving it.
Foto: Forlaget Press-Bungeishunju, Baar HenriksenMin Festival